It’s always been tempting to write a book about the stupid things people say and the stupider things people believe.
Here’s one of my favorites…
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
Sort of like when the City says, “…yes, this project is going to be done by Johnson Corporation and will be completed by Jun 15, 2009..”
And people actually believe that.
“Oh, yeah but don’t worry, it will be done by June 15, next year.”
Obviously people who believe in ‘The Secret’, and not people who pay attention to anything in front of their eyes…
But hey, that “dream with a deadline,” thing makes for good copy.
Sad Fact: …once people figure that out, they sometimes become disenchanted, frustrated, feel a sense of failure, and worse – they feel inadequate. And there is no reason for any of this.
“Goal setting doesn’t work.”
“I have a perfect system that works every time and I failed. Only I could fail at something that works every time.”
I have to deprogram these people with far too much regularity….
KEYPOINT: If all you needed was a goal and a time stamp, life would be sooooooooo breezy easy that we’d just “attract” everything we wanted effortlessly into our driveway….
We know it doesn’t work like that and it never will….
There are a lot of myths about goal setting.
And, there are a lot of goals that need to be set.
How do you know what kinds of goals to set and what will actually be the most constructive system to achieve those goals?
I’m going to show you.
A dream with a deadline is most likely to remain a dream…or become a nightmare…
A dream with a deadline is almost a guaranteed recipe for failure.
“We will balance the budget by 2012.”
You could list thousands of them.
Dreams are important to having a great life, but when you start attaching iron clad deadlines on them, you create a lot of problems.
Here’s something I haven’t put in the public before…..
I finished the final draft of The Psychology of Persuasion in February 1991, right after Desert Storm.
I met that goal.
My next goal was to have it in print by January 1, 1993.
Had that been a dream with a deadline….it would have been dead.
…Psychology of Persuasion was published in May 1996.
It took five years to find a publisher. Five years.
Good “copy” doesn’t necessarily make for a rewarding life… or best selling books….
Goal setting as it is typically taught rarely “works.”
There is, however, a system that is actually likely to succeed with predictability.
What is it….a couple of thumbnail sketches of success help reveal the plan…
….The Beatles didn’t sit down and plan on being the most successful rock group in history. Elvis didn’t set a goal to become the number one performer in the history of the world.
….but they did and on a per capita basis no one ever came close to touching either of them. (per capita in this case means percentage of people in a country that bought record albums)
Achievement seems to work a bit differently than starting with a goal. In fact, success doesn’t necessarily start with setting a goal.
Elvis loved to sing. He cut a record for his Mom as a birthday present and the studio owner couldn’t believe how good it was. Elvis always had just loved to sing. Gospel, blues, country. He did some local events and had a great time. His dream, his goal was to get on the Grand Ole Opry. They literally told him to go back to driving a truck. He had no chance of success.
The negative reaction in Nashville hurt the young Presley and motivated him and his backup band to get more gigs, learn more songs and have more fun…and they did. A set of movie contracts tied the young man up for a period of 8 years at which time he once again went back to what he loved. Singing to a live audience. It was then that he realized his dream. It wasn’t to be #1, it was to have fun. While he was on track and having fun he succeeded richly. When he was off track, his life self destructed.
The Beatles story was similar. From ’60-’62, they just wanted to have fun, keep getting better, write songs, and live a dream. They never planned on becoming #1. All of them were often quoted as saying that they would be lucky to see their success continue another few months. Like Elvis, their goals were largely short- term. Learn more songs, get better as musicians, put out as much good material as they could. And…have fun. While they were having fun they succeeded. Once other things became more important than the current dream of playing, they bitterly split.
The residual from their work never dwindled and they all succeeded in their new careers as soloists, as we know.
When you analyze those who succeed at anything, they almost always do so by doing something they are either:
a) good at
When you look at the lives of people who live unfulfilling lives, they often have as much skill as those who love their work, but they are not doing what they love, like or have skills for.
The foundation of “goal-setting” is laid in the love of the dream. Is the dream a nightmare, or is it truly a dream? Many people are very skilled, say, as a musician only because their parents made them play when they were children, but they don’t actually enjoy their playing to any significant degree.
Where there is no desire, there is no passion for the goal.
It’s very hard to artificially generate a passion for something you don’t love. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy success at it, however. Someone who has a passion for financial independence and the lifestyle it brings, can definitely do something they don’t enjoy to achieve that goal.
Clearly when one lives a life that one enjoys and one where you are doing what you love while storing nuts for the future …. is superior to any other alternative….so as you think of mid-term and long term goals, you want to think in terms of doing something that rewards you just for doing it. Something you might do for the love of the experience itself.
This is more than just a useful philosophy. This is good neuroscience.
$10,000 KEY: Desire drives emotion. Emotion is fundamental to attention. Attention is necessary for acquisition.
In other words: If you have to try and think about your goal and actually might forget about it from day to day or hour to hour, the goal could be worthwhile but it is very unlikely to ever manifest in reality.
The vast majority of your brain function operates outside of your awareness. Whatever the emotional and survival elements of the brain focus on (outside of your awareness) are what you are likely to be driven to move toward and away from. Your brain will focus on what will fulfill your CORE desires and bring you into a desirable state of being.
This “state” differs from person to person. Some people need calm. Others excitement. There is no universal state of being that is desirable for everyone, though everyone does seem to benefit from the ability to be calm at least some of the time.
If you think it would be desirable to become a manager at your company, but you are emotionally being driven away from your work to find fulfillment elsewhere, your goal-setting is going to most likely be met with a lot of frustration even if you are successful.
There are a number of aspects of life in which you can achieve goals. There are a number of careers, jobs, lifestyles you can live with and even thrive on.
The first area of true consideration is answering this simple question: What are some of those possibilities?
Here is a certainty: Where you put your attention is where you are likely to go. If you focus on what you don’t want, you may very well find yourself getting it anyway. There is nothing metaphysical about this….and in fact when goal setting or doing any planning at all YOU MUST figure out what you don’t want. BUT, because you are human the brain will default to programming vs. conscious control.
Once you have figured out what you DON’T WANT and you have laid out your map with contingencies, then you focus on the map and following it.
Again, it’s simple science. At this point whatever pictures you put in your brain are the only pieces of information your brain can utilize to direct the body toward or away from. If your response to your fear is phobic, your brain will do everything in it’s power to move you away from the stimulus. In these cases, say the fear of extreme poverty can cause you to work hard to avoid poverty. A phobia and powerful fear can definitely move you away from something.
However, when you are thinking of choices that are neither phobic nor which you are passionate about, you have a very different situation. Your brain will lock onto these images and move you toward them. If there are many different pictures that don’t have a common theme, you will simply move in multiple directions. This may not be a bad thing. If your goals are to be “a little of everything” that is very legitimate and could be very fulfilling. Most people however, have a sense of dream or purpose. My job is to show you specifically how to set goals so you get there!
KEY: The first principle I want you to carve into your tablet of stone is that you are far more likely to achieve any goal if you are truly attached to it in some emotional way. (Does it bring out feelings of excitement, calm, passion, love, joy, intensity?)
KEY 2: The second principle I want you to write in your tablet of stone is that where your attention is largely determines what your outcome will actually be.
KEY 3: The third principle is that although long term goals are very useful, I am far more concerned about your short and mid term goals. Put the majority of your attention on the goals that are going to come to fruition (or not!) soon. Therefore: Set short term goals that you can use to evaluate how your journey is going? (Ex. Are you having fun? Are you learning what you need to learn? Are you seeing how your current activity is directly related to your longer term success?)
Long-term goals are typically not compelling for most people. Everyone knows they should save $10,000 per year from now until retirement so they can retire with a tiny nest egg, but less than 1% will actually do what they need. They will instead do what they want. Assume that you will do this as well (at least for now!).
Deadlines are another thing.
How Failure Creeps Up…
A true story…
11 years ago, I wanted to start a school. Having met some of my life goals (write 10 books, speak internationally, be a good Dad, etc.) I wanted to establish the first licensed school for hypnosis in Minnesota. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do. I had determined very specific outcomes. Curriculum, location, standards…and a date. I put it out one year. For me that is a long-term time horizon on projects like this. I’m used to moving at lightning speed…
Everything was done at the 4-month mark except licensure. Licensure was to be my last project because I’ve never been one to enjoy paperwork, deal in the minutia of governmental bureaucracy and well…you get the idea. Surely we could accomplish the paperwork and pay the exorbitant fees for licensure in a matter of weeks.
Not a chance.
Oh, the money was all paid up front. The State doesn’t accept applications without big checks attached. It was then one year until the state would issue the license. Total time: 16 months.
If I moved that slow in my real life…nothing would ever get done and there would be no life…
The problem with deadlines is that most people come to a deadline, pass it, and then quit. “It just wasn’t meant to be”…one tends to whisper. There is so much more to a goal than having a dream with a deadline.
Having a plan, a schedule, and a clear picture of the outcome are all critical to success. Then there are other elements including contingency plans and persisting in the face of adversity, among others. Don’t lock yourself into an all or nothing date by which you MUST achieve something by.
Let’s start to apply the first three principles of goal setting.
Take your time and enjoy this first process. If it’s not fun, then you are thinking about someone else’s life! This should be a RICH experience!
Goal Setting Preparation Exercise
- Think of all the things in life that are important to you on every level. Contribution, love, sex, happiness, spending time with the family, doing work you are proud of. Write everything down that comes to mind. Leave five lines below each item for evaluation. Journal this. Write down at least fifty “items.”
- Next to each of these things, write a number from 1-10 (10 being most) in how much you really want this “item.” in your life. This step is crucial. If you are anything but 100% honest with yourself, you will sabotage the entire process.
- Next to each “item” above, write down one or two sentences that explains specifically how you will measure or know whether you are on track to meet this goal at ninety days. If you wrote that you want a yacht, a spouse, a new house…you probably won’t have those things in 90 days (at least I hope not). I will need you to show what level of progress you want to experience by that 90-day mark.
For the balance of the goal setting system that can help you create the map to get you where you want to be, come see me in Las Vegas in October and I will lay it out for you myself in ridiculously minute detail. It will be wildly cool and fun and it will work….
I’ve identified 12 of the life patterns which cause us to trip up – and make the same mistakes again and again. To discover which of the 12 patterns you have been the victim of and how to eliminate self-sabotage in your life (or those of your clients) you can pick up the program below.
Lifestorms: 12 Obstacles to Achievement: The Paradox of Overcoming Self Sabotage to Achieve Love, Power, Money and Happiness.
by Kevin Hogan
Discover why life often brings you exactly what you don’t want…and how self sabotage can hide around every corner. Some people have guessed at the bizarre nature of self sabotage. Guess no more. Self sabotage is very real in everyone’s life. It is completely devastating and 100% resolvable!
- Do you ever know you should start on a project but don’t?
- Do you have projects that you have started but never finished?
- Do you ever say the one wrong thing at the wrong time?
- Have you ever had things going well in life only to have everything blow up in a day?
- Have you tried to be so careful not to make a mistake that you were shocked when you made a truly costly one?
- Have you ever promised yourself to stay out of trouble in some way only to find yourself in the same trouble or worse again?
Now you can discover your own life patterns so you can eliminate unconscious self sabotage immediately. This program will break the heavy chains that hold you from your dreams and your goals.
This program is the first program ever made public that shows you how to identify specific self sabotaging behaviors and negative life patterns. Better? You can ultimately erase those life patterns and rewrite new “schemas” into your brain that will allow you to meet your goals and experience fulfilling relationships.
Here is what you will learn:
- How to identify which of the 12 negative life patterns you live.
- How to find the triggers of the lifestorms that you just can’t believe you experience.
- How to change the self sabotage into success, happiness or something productive.
- How to remove almost all obstacles between you and your goals.
- How to understand those around you so you don’t push their buttons.
- How to predict your behavior and that of others.
- How to actually achieve your goals so they are more than just a dream.
No one anywhere has ever put such a program on CD. There is not one person anywhere who can’t utilize every minute of this insightful information. These three CD’s are packed with the most powerful tools for getting past life’s roadblocks and personal sabotage ever imagined. Anyone can utilize this information and I personally guarantee that if you follow the instructions you will not experience self sabotaging behavior anymore. Your goals become reality at speeds faster than you ever imagined.